It would best be described as heartbreak on the hardwood for the Pella Little Dutch as the visiting Indianola Indians escaped with an 87-85 win Tuesday, Jan. 28. The Indians used a relentless slashing attack to challenge the Pella defense and create some foul issues in the first half. That attack enabled the Indians to build a 44 -31 halftime lead.
During the halftime break the Dutch found renewed vigor and ripped off a 12-0 run in the first two minutes of the third stanza to pull to within one at 44-43. Ryan Mace opened the run and closed the run with inside buckets while Logan Shetterly rifled home a pair of threes and Grant Nelson put back a rebound.
Pella outscored the Indians 28-12 in the third period and they used a 7-0 run in the final minute to finally gain their first lead of the contest. Jonathan Oltman hit a long three to start the run and then Parker Elder converted a conventional three point play when he swiped the ball and was fouled making the layup. Oltman then gave the Dutch a 59-56 lead going into the final eight minutes with a free throw.
The fourth quarter opened with a flurry of threes as Pella knocked down three long balls and the Indians put down a pair. Oltman, Shetterly and Karl Miller connected from behind the arc for Pella and Caden Rehmeier had both of the threes for the Indians. Pella then used a driving layup and a three from Shetterly and a three from Nelson to take a 78 -68 lead with 3:56 left in the game.
But the Indians were not ready to cash in their chips. Consecutive threes by freshman Drew Kingery, Rehmeier and Tyce Johnson Cut the lead to one at 78-77 and the battle raged. A drive shot by Shetterly and a pair of free throws by Oltman gave the Dutch an 82-79 lead.
In the final minute the Indians got an inside three point play and a breakaway layup from A. J. Toigo and a pair of free throws from Johnson for an 86-82 lead with 14 seconds left.
Pella was desperately looking for a four point play and they got the opportunity. Nelson launched a three-point shot with an Indian draped over him and the ball went in. The foul was called, but alas, the ball rimmed out and the Indians grabbed the rebound on the free throw attempt.
Pella fouled immediately and Kingery made the second of two free throws with one second left. That meant that Pella had a second to get a desperation shot off and they did. The ball was passed to mid-court and the shot was in the air when the horn sounded. The ball drew iron but not the net and the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat filled the gymnasium.
“Indianola is a very good team,” Pella coach Derek Schulte said. “We competed hard and there was no lack of effort. This team comes to play every night.”
Shetterly had an outstanding night for the Dutch with 32 points and six assists while Miller was also in double digits with 16 points.
Oltman added nine points and six assists to the Pella totals. Johnson led the Indians with 22 points and Kingery and Rehmeier were also in double figures with 20 and 15 points respectively.